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Fan gets kidney transplant after donor sees pleading sign at hockey game

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 28: Derick Brassard #19 of the Pittsburgh Penguins advances the puck against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on November 28, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — A Lancaster County woman who has been in need of a kidney donor finally found her match, and it’s all thanks to a sign she held up at a Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game earlier this year.

31-year-old Kelly Sowatsky of Lancaster County was determined to find someone who could give her the kidney that she desperately needed.

Another Pittsburgh Penguins fan who saw that sign that is now viral ended up sending her a Facebook message.

“He said hey Kelly how you doing how is the donor search going,” said Kelly Sowatsky, who received a kidney transplant.

It was Jeff Lynd from Delaware, who just so happened to be A positive, the perfect match.

“Not only are we both teachers but we both have this affinity for the Penguins,” said Sowatsky.

Fast forward nine months later, Sowatsky’s wishes finally came true.

In November, she got a new kidney.

“As the anesthesia started to subside and I realized where I was, what was happening, I was like oh my gosh, my whole life just changed,” said Sowatsky.

Sowatsky says it’s all thanks to Lynd.

“I would call him a hero, I mean that’s what he is,” added Sowatsky.

However, Lynd doesn’t see it that way.

I just consider myself a guy trying to help out a friend,” said Jeff Lynd, kidney donor.

“She’ll tell you differently but that’s honestly really I don’t feel I did anything special, I just feel like I helped somebody that needed help,” said Lynd.

Sowatsky says the journey has given her a new outlook on life.

“What he’s done for me is something that words can’t express really, like the gratitude that I have,” said Sowatsky. “I just have a higher regard for the chance I have been given,” she added.

She says now she can look forward to the future.

“I’m so excited that I get to marry my best friend feeling as good as I do knowing that I have such a great prognosis and outlook at this point so you can’t stop fighting for the precious gift of life,” said Sowatski.